4:53 pm - 06/07/2008

Leonardo DiCaprio is Nolan Bushnell in Atari

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Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to star as Nolan Bushnell in Atari, a biopic about “the founding father of electronic gaming”, who was the inventor of Pong and founder of Atari.

Screenwriters Brian Hecker (Tribeca short film Bart Got a Room) and Craig Sherman (Pop Warner’s biopic) sold the pitch to Paramount on Friday, and DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way will produce. Hecker and Sherman told THR that they hope to play with elements from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Tucker.

Bushnell was an engineering student who went from fixing broken pinball machines to launching the Atari Corporation in 1972 (a reference to a check-like position in Go, one of Nolan’s favorite games) where he created Pong, which is often regarded as the world’s first video arcade game (which is actually untrue, as Computer Space launched a year earlier). A home version was released in 1974 and took the world by storm. Nolan sold the company to Warner Communications for a mere $28 million, to get the capital to release the Atari 2600, credited with popularizing the use cartridge based console video game systems. By 1979, the 2600 was the best-selling Christmas gift. By 1983, the company had sold over 8 million units. Nolan also created Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre (later known as just Chuck E. Cheese).

Having grown up a kid of the 1980’s, I have a huge amount of respect for Nolan Bushnell. That said, I’m not sure if his story is worth telling on the big screen. It seems more of a Pirates of Silicon Valley type of story. And I’m not knocking Pirates, it’s considered a cult classic among tech geeks, but there is a reason that that movie was made for television. And with over 20 projects in some form of development, as producer or star, I’m not sure DiCaprio will ever find enough time to clear his plate to do this film.

Among his other films in development, DiCaprio is also attached to play felon Jordan Belfort in Warner Bros’ The Wolf of Wall Street and James Bond creator Ian Fleming in Fleming. The actor/producer has taken on many real life roles over the years including author Tobias Wolff, poets Jim Carroll and Arthur Rimbaud, counterfeiter Frank Abagnale Jr. and aviator Howard Hughes.


summercamp 7th-Jun-2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Sounds kind of like a boring story... Well, at least as far as movies go...
my_drama_only 7th-Jun-2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Yay, Leo!
klmnumbers 7th-Jun-2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
artvandellay 7th-Jun-2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
I remember that set of Leo pictures. Sigh.
__lovebuzzz 7th-Jun-2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
I miss the young leo :(
artvandellay 7th-Jun-2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
oh no, the op changed the picture. groce!
up_and_away1252 7th-Jun-2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
Me too!!
wtf_garfunkle 7th-Jun-2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
I wish he was still young, like titanic and romeo + juliet era.
when I see him now, I wish I could roll back time.
dragonblk17 7th-Jun-2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
This sounds like a good movie. I'm a gaming nerd though, so...
normalchick 7th-Jun-2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
omg atari was the shit when i was a little one, before we moved onto nintendo. my brother and i would play all the time and i'd get so angry that he was always winning so i'd hit him over the head with the controller
kateekates127 7th-Jun-2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Oh Leo, you fox.
honeypants 7th-Jun-2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Yawn. A real-life adaptation of Frogger would probably more interesting.
up_and_away1252 7th-Jun-2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
movielooney 7th-Jun-2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
Too many real life people roles for Leo. Oh, but I did love him in "Catch me if you can". Such a sad, beautiful, perfect movie.
obvious82 7th-Jun-2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
"when ya got nothin ya got nothin to loose" lol the first line to leave his lips in titanic and i JUST realized it is a line from a Bob Dylan song.
klmnumbers 7th-Jun-2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
obvious82 7th-Jun-2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
lol well i got crucified a few posts down and maybe this will eliminate people thinking their comments about it are clever. i know it was embarassing. people already are spamming my inbox with links to web communities making fun of me. I am not kidding.
klmnumbers 7th-Jun-2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
o.O I'm confused. I meant it. Your icon looks familiar.
obvious82 7th-Jun-2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
it is a post on ONTD..
klmnumbers 7th-Jun-2008 09:37 pm (UTC)

I just didn't read the 300 angry comments about the hair piece. (I just didn't know people bitched at you for misreading it, hah)
obvious82 7th-Jun-2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
ooooooooh. god i am not making any sense today. yeah it was a little strange because a few people before me glnaced and thought it was real as well but i got ~*attacked~*~ woe is me
bienenkiste 7th-Jun-2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
lol wtf happened?
obvious82 7th-Jun-2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
i made a really embarassing comment when i thought the thing on this girls head was real. it is a few posts down, people just went apeshit on me
wring 7th-Jun-2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
lol what
whats_ur_damage 7th-Jun-2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
It's also in 16 Candles lol
obvious82 7th-Jun-2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
you know, i have still never seen that :(
up_and_away1252 7th-Jun-2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
Me neither!! I never took the time to sit down and watch the whole thing, same goes for Pretty In Pink. I love the Breakfast club tho.
obvious82 8th-Jun-2008 03:31 am (UTC)
i havent seen it either but i loved BC
allinred 7th-Jun-2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
I thought yeah, you'd get some cracks, but I don't think your comment warranted all that. Totally OTT.
obvious82 7th-Jun-2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
aw thanks bb!
lavished 7th-Jun-2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
this sounds wicked boring
mistress_kizuna 7th-Jun-2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
I have a great love for Nolan Bushnell, purley for the fact that he created video games. :)
numb_crystal 7th-Jun-2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
what could possibly make this interesting
light_inaugust 7th-Jun-2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
I'm only interested in Leo when he has a film coming out. Other then that, my interests lie purely with Christian Bale, lol
numbereleven 7th-Jun-2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
That's nice and all, but like, is there a massive life story or something? They realize their main character is going to be PONG, right?
headcaseheidi 7th-Jun-2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
the only way this could be interesting is if they nix the whole nolan bushwhacked thing and just make a CHUCK E. CHEESE MOVIE. AWESOME, RIGHT??

jasper t. jowls is ~MURDERED~ and it's a big whodunit!

headcaseheidi lol wikipedia7th-Jun-2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
Charles Entertainment Cheese, best known by Chuck E. Cheese or The Big C, is the mascot for Chuck E. Cheese's. He is a fun-loving, friendly mouse that enjoys skateboarding, playing video games, and entertaining children. Chuck E. Cheese originally started out as a cocky rat who wore a red derby hat, diamond vest, bow tie, had a cane, and smoked a cigar.


la_petite_singe 7th-Jun-2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
This is very dorky; it makes me very happy. I do love him so.
ruffian86 7th-Jun-2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Stop doing biopics. They are so damn boring.
wtf_garfunkle 7th-Jun-2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
I'm so hopelessly in love with him <3

he's my romeo and jack dawson...

wahootrollop 7th-Jun-2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
i'll see it!
superhyphy 7th-Jun-2008 10:44 pm (UTC)

i want to make love to him
inflamesforyou 7th-Jun-2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
he used to be so hot
lillysraven 8th-Jun-2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Nolan Bushnell is a odd one. I worked for a large non-profit out in CA and when one of our fundraisers showed up for a meeting about a charitable event, he and his wife were naked in the hot tub and tried to invite her in...very weird.
retrojeans 8th-Jun-2008 04:12 am (UTC)
do me leo now
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